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Alcove Death Camus
Synonym: Anticlea vaginata
Family: Liliaceae – Lily Family
Perennial poisonous herbs; from bulbs; 1' to 3.3' tall (3 to10 decimeters); grows in hanging gardens
Leaves: mainly basal, some alternate; simple; parallel veined; narrow and grasslike, linear; reduced leaves going upwards; leaves slightly toothed; 8” to 2.5' (20 to 75 cm) long, 0.24” to 0.72” (6 to 18 mm) wide; monocot
Flowers: usually 3 white petals; 3 white sepals, commonly petaloid; stamens 6, or rarely 3; 1 pistil; radially symmetrical; flowers 0.6” to 17.2” (15 to 43 cm) long and 0.33” to 0.75” (8.3 to 18.8 mm) wide; flowers perfect and in panicles
Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (specifically bees)
Fruits: 3 chambered capsule
Blooms in Arches National Park: July, August, September and possibly to the end of October in lower elevations
Habitat in Arches National Park: hanging gardens and seeps
Location seen: hanging garden and seep communities
Other: The genus name, "Zigadenus", is derived from the Greek words “zugon” which means “yoke” and “aden” which means “gland or paired glands” describing the flowers. The species name, “vaginatus” means “sheath” which describes the leaves.
Zigadenus vaginatus is endemic to Grand, Kane, San Juan and Washington Counties in Utah. This plant is a C3 federal species of concern. C3 are taxa that are no longer being considered for listing as threatened or endangered species by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Although this C3 candidate is no longer officially considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act, the former candidate status is important historical information.
Yucca and aloe used to be in this family. The family is extremely complex. Some ornamentals and medicinally useful plants are in this family, but a few species, such as this one, are poisonous.
Did You Know?
In the late 1800s, John Wesley Wolfe, a disabled Civil War veteran, and his son, Fred, built a homestead in what is now Arches National Park. A weathered log cabin, root cellar, and corral remain as evidence of the primitive ranch they operated for more than 10 years.